7 of My Most hated Games of All Time
I normally try to stay fairly positive on this site. Particularly since I’m a naturally critical person. But just this once I thought it would be fun to vent a little, and impart upon you my most hated games of all time. Not necessarily the worst, mind you. I’ve played some truly horrendous games, including the infamous Aquaman: battle for Atlantis, originator of X-Play’s illustrious “Golden Mullet award” for shittiest game of the year from then on. No, these are not the worst games, nor even particularly bad in a few cases, but the games that have caused me the most frustration, caused me to seethe in anger and disappointment, to disgustedly throw my controller or keyboard to the floor and scream “Screw this game!”. Here’s to you, you bastards.
Men in Black II: Alien Escape
This game is sort of like a 3D Contra, in all the worst ways. The level design is bad, the game controls terribly, and the enemies are frustrating bullet sponges. It’s also ball crushingly difficult and works on an antiquated (even at the time) lives per level system that sends you back to a checkpoint whenever you die and back to the start whenever you run out. It’s blatant “quarter eater” arcade design that simply does not fit onto a console and would only be forgivable if it weren’t repetitive, clunky, frustrating garbage. I hate this game so much I still own a copy to remind myself what a bad game looks like.
Spyro: A Hero’s Tail
I waffled between putting Enter the Dragon here instead, but Hero’s Tail, despite being a marginally better game (Dragonfly was damn near unplayably buggy at parts) takes the cake here for two simple reasons: Changing Moneybags to a weird vaguely Arabic stereotype and swapping the order of buttons for no reason. Four games. Four games had a very simple control scheme: X to jump, Square to charge, Circle to breathe fire. It worked, and worked well.
So why, in the name of all that is holy, did this game change Circle to charge and Square to fire? For what purpose would they play with my muscle memory that way? It doesn’t make any sense! It doesn’t add to the game! It changes nothing except making it harder to play for long time fans!
It not being a good game on top of that made me ill disposed to get used to the controls as well, and to this day it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.
Rock Me Archimedes
Yes, a board game. What? I never said they were all videogames. So, this is not a bad game. It’s not great, but not bad. Basic premise: Move marbles, try to unbalance your opponent while balancing your side of the board, get four marbles to the far end of your board (the darkly colored bit) without having your side of the see-saw touch the table and you win.
It is a game by a guy named Matt Buchanan (who I know nothing about) and was exclusively sold by a company called Marbles, which I used to work for as a “Brain Coach” (sales associate). They sell board games. I had fun working there, and was working on a game to actually submit and get picked up to sell there when the company…went bankrupt. But that’s beside the point.
What is the point is we had demos of all of the games in the store, and Rock Me Archimedes was a mainstay on the demo tables forever, because it was an exclusive. Along with Oh Snap! a strong runner-up for this spot, and Otrio, all three of which I think were acquired by target when the company went under. Otrio I actually strongly recommend, but I digress.
Anyway, it’s a see-saw with marbles on it. In a store. A store in a mall. A store in a mall where people come in and let their kids run amok. Mind you I like kids. You can’t work in a board game store without at least tolerating them.
But the clickety clack of twenty-odd marbles hitting the floor and scattering to the four winds still haunts my dreams to this day. And I will never forgive Matt Buchanan (whoever he is) for this.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is a strong contender for my favorite FPS of all time, alongside Team Fortress 2 and Halo: Reach. Battlefield 3 feels like DICE had a meeting that asked the question “What made Bad Company 2 great?”, got the answers, and proceeded to systematically ruin everything about it.
Vehicles were far too durable, making my favorite class (Engineer) nearly worthless as an anti-vehicle class. The problem with assault rifles being king was exacerbated, with the exception of an extremely overpowered assault shotgun that fired explosive rounds that didn’t get nerfed until long after I gave up. Progression felt slower and less satisfying.
It’s just a bad game, made all the worse by being a follow-up to a great one. What a shame.
Kingdom Hearts RE: Chain of Memories
I quite like the original Gameboy Advance game, though I understand it’s divisive for being such a radical departure from the first game. But it was downright gorgeous for a GBA title, and I thought the card mechanics were fun. Plus you get to play as Riku for the first time.
Unfortunately the updated re-release just falls flat. The card mechanics work great on a 2D plane, but when translated to 3D movement it’s just too much, too clunky, and all around awkward. I was excited for this game’s initial release, and I less hate this one more than I am intensely disappointed they took a great game and made it bad by trying to upgrade it. I am appreciative of the work put in to make a completely new game for what could have been just a remaster, which makes me feel all the worse for disliking the final product so much. And no game should make me feel guilty for not liking it.
Dragonball Z Ultimate Tenkaichi
Above is pictured actual gameplay from the game (okay not really but close enough). That’s really all I need to say. I bought it expecting a follow-up to the epic toybox Budokai Tenkaichi 3 gave me, and got rock paper scissors but pretty. Booooo.
Dragon Age: Inquisition
This is probably the one I’ll get the most flak for. “How can you hate such a critically acclaimed game?” “This is my favorite game of all time! How dare you?”
And I get it, I really do. I see why many would like this. But thinking about this game gets my blood BOILING.
Dragon Age: Origins is a strong contender for my favorite RPG of all time, and shoe-in for favorite isometric RPG. I’ve played through that game as every combo of race and class, and loved every one. I actually really enjoyed Dragon Age 2 as well, and I feel like that admission will get me twice the hate. Yeah, it was rushed and the re-use of assets was blatant and tiring, but for a game made in only 8 months it is amazing how well it turned out. Good story, great characters (let’s just…put aside what they did to Anders at the end), decent gameplay, I like it okay?
So when Inquisition came out I had high hopes. People were proclaiming Dragon Age 2 to be Bioware’s worst game ever and I still liked it, so there’s no way I could dislike Inquisition.
I jinxed myself.
I bought the game day 1 and it was buggy as all hell. The hair was downright nasty looking, but that’s forgivable. What’s less so is falling through terrain. Which is a problem I consistently had. Rock was solid; dirt and grass were intangible, forcing me into loops of repeated falls. When I wasn’t falling through terrain, I got constant crashes. Bioware support was unhelpful, and EA/Origin’s customer support even less so (EA’s return policy is basically just the company telling you “Suck on it” and laughing in your face). So I was stuck with a game I couldn’t play. I hear these issues were rare. Doesn’t change my hate.
Now, fast forward a few years. All the patches are out, DLC done, and I decide to give it another shot. Game’s no longer buggy, which I was happy about. Unfortunately it was just mediocre at best, and very grindy. Yes, I know, “Leave the Hinterlands”. I did. The whole game is like that area writ smaller. Reminded me a lot of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. My main issue was the nerfs to mages. I’ve discussed before how mages were a bit much in Origins; they could literally do everything better than everyone else, including fight with a sword. Still, it fit the story of the game, and you could really feel why everyone was terrified of mages in the setting.
Dragon Age 2 toned them down a bit, but they were still fun. Inquisition ruined them. All versatility gone, limited to four flavors of magic: healing, fire damage, ice damage, and electric damage. Yay. Immediately killed my interest and immersion. Why is there a mage/templar conflict again? Because the mages can shoot the equivalent of elemental themed arrows at people?
I played a rogue instead, but wasn’t blown away by the story enough to keep playing as a class I wasn’t super interested in. In a story and setting defined by the conflict between mages and the theocracy, and a game where that all comes to a head, I couldn’t play a mage because they were so boring and uninspired, left as mere AoE damage dealers and mild debuffers. It’s ironic, I was far more engaged in the story as my elf mage, but couldn’t stand actually PLAYING. Most of the companions being unlikable didn’t help, most being either aloof (Cassandra, Solas), grating (Vivienne, Sera), or boring (Iron Bull). Varric returning was nice. Would have been nice to also replace Sera with Leliana, but alas.
It remains to this day a half-finished game for me, and one I can’t bear to go back to. It makes me sad and angry at the same time to think about that game, which is why it bottoms my list.
Let the hate mail commence.
#7of My Most hated Games of All Time